Vancouver and Canada love the Olympic Games. But there is one thing they love above all: the game they call their own: Hockey, or as it is known in the Netherlands: ijs hockey. The town exploded when Canada clinched the gold in overtime. We took a short bath in the crowd on Granville street. Vancouver is in ecstasy over this win. It reminded me of the 25th of june 1988 in the Netherlands. The game against the USA was a lot of fun to watch. Judging from the Canadian player names, there could be quite a few with Dutch and German ancestry playing for Canada today.
Friday, February 12, 2010
The Ambassador invited me for drinks and meet the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. That was such a big honour, I even got to shake his hand. I tried to shoot a picture of myself and the Prime Minister. It's my face in the foreground of the picture. There was also a professional photographer, so maybe I can get hold of a better picture. The PM made a nice speech, with some good jokes. He even made a really nice adlib joke to a heckler on Carnaval being a Catholic contribution to Dutch culture, not suited for a Protestant.
A big surprise moment was when the Prime Minister introduced the two times winner of the Elf Stedentocht Evert van Benthem, who is now a cattle farmer in Canada. On the picture, you can see him wearing his cowboy hat. He got a big round of applause of course, from the expats. I am now watching the opening ceremony, and am getting in the Olympic mood. On Sunday I will visit the Holland Heineken house, and the week after that I will be there watching the 1500m speed skating on the big screen.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This evening, while watching the US version of the Office on TV, I was suddenly surprised by cheering people outside, and a motorcade with police escort. So we decided to take a look on the balcony. And what do you know... the Olympic Flame was being brought in over the Burrard bridge. That bright spot on the bridge you see in the picture is the flame. At the down town side, the flame was exchanged with the next relay runner. So it's really starting now. Tomorrow is the opening ceremony. I wonder whether they managed to get Grouse Mountain ready with some snow. I heard there was talk of flying in snow with helicopters. Well, that heli I saw at boundary bay would sure be big enough for the job.
Tevens wil ik van de gelegenheid gebruik maken om Niels, Jelmer, Linette, Marco, Henny, Gerard, Jeanne, Jan, Ard, Anna, Stan en Truus te bedanken voor hun verjaardagskaartje!